Shadow Puppet rehearsals

Rehearsal tonight went fairly smoothly. I’m fortunate to have a pretty good kinetic memory, which means I learn blocking quickly. I compensate for this by having almost no memory for names and a poor one for faces. Luckily! I don’t need either of those when learning a new show.

Even accounting for the kinetic memory, I’m finding Tiger Tales spectacularly easy to learn because someone else is doing all the voices, so all I have to do is focus on the manipulation. Also, because it’s a shadow puppet show, using an overhead projector, I only have to learn my blocking in two dimensions. My puppets, with one exception, always enter from stage left.

The challenge comes once they are on stage because, well, somone else is doing all the voices. While that relieves me from the pressure of learning lines, it also means that I have to pay ferocious amounts of attention to the inflections of his voice and try to match my movement to his. Add to that the fact that my puppets can only move in two dimensions and I have to use that narrow range to express emotion. Some of the figures have no moving parts at all, so it’s all about the angle and rhythm of their movement.

So this show, which on the surface looks so easy to learn, actually presents interesting challenges to perform well.

If you are near Orlando on Saturday, I hope you come see a show and say hello afterwards. And now, I need to go finish packing.

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